Prado or Everest? Off-road review

G'day, four-wheel enthusiasts! Baz here, and I've got a ripper off-road review for ya. Today, we're throwing Toyota's trusty Prado GXL into the ring with Ford's Everest Sport. Let's see which one's gonna be the king of the bush, mate!

Now, the Prado, like an old mate, has been around since 2009, a bit of a facelift on the 120 Series Prado from 2002. But don't let the age fool ya! Toyota's been tinkering under the bonnet, chucking in a new 2.8-litre diesel engine in 2016, and now, a bit more juice with extra power and torque.

On the other side of the ring, we've got Ford's Everest Sport, a newer kid on the block, hitting the scene in 2015 with a revamp of the T6 Ranger. This one's got a 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel, and it's dressed to impress.

Both these beauties are sittin' in the mid-$60K range, but they're like chalk and cheese, I'll tell ya that. The Prado's got that classic diesel automatic combo, while the Everest Sport is flexing with a 2.0-litre powertrain. So, who's gonna win the tug of war? Let's dive in, cobbers!

Toyota Prado GXL

Now, jump into the Prado, and it's like slipping into your favourite pair of fishing boots. There are nine Prado models now, but they all rock that diesel automatic combo. They've moved the spare wheel under the body, making the tailgate lighter and easier to handle. But, fair dinkum, you lose the second fuel tank, dropping the fuel capacity to 87 litres.

Now, the Prado's 2.8-litre engine got a bit of a boost, mate! They've thrown in a bigger turbo, cranked up the injection pressures, and tweaked the block, pistons, and cooling system. Power's up to 150kW, torque's at 500Nm, all kicking in at a low 1600rpm. On the bitumen, it's less shuffling between gears, especially in the undulating country roads. It's no rocket, but pedal to the metal, it's got more grunt.

On the blacktop, the Prado's got a cushy ride, thanks to its soft suspension, especially with those 17-inch wheels. But, throw it into the twisties, and it starts feeling a bit like a soggy sandwich. Toyota's KDSS system would sort it out, but it's only for the top dog Kakadu.

Off-road, though, the Prado's a weapon. Full-time 4x4, Torsen limited-slip centre diff, and a push-button locker for the tricky stuff. It's got the moves, mate! But, hey, it's like your reliable old rod, not flashy but gets the job done.

Ford Everest UA1/UA2

Now, let's chuck a line into the Everest Sport's pond. This one's a bit of a styling upgrade on the Trend, rocking those blacked-out vibes. Under the bonnet, it's got the 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel and a 10-speed auto, a bit of high-tech wizardry.

Fire up the Everest, and it's quieter and smoother than your missus' morning coffee. On the road, this little engine feels like a big powerhouse. With 157kW and 500Nm, it's punchier than the Prado's 2.8, and those 10 gears make for a sporty drive.

On the black stuff, the Everest feels lighter and more nimble. The electric power steering's a winner, and it handles the bumps better with that Watt's Link at the back. But, yeah, it's a bit firmer, and road noise creeps in, especially with those 20-inch wheels.

Off-road, the Everest holds its own. Electronic tricks keep it steady, and it's got a nifty terrain-specific drive mode. The 20-inch wheels might not be your best mate in the rough stuff, but you can swap 'em out.

The Verdict

Now, choosing between these two is like picking your favourite fishing spot. If you're all about the drive, handling, and a bit of oomph, the Everest's your pick. It's a better 4x4 to drive, no doubt.

But, if you're after a reliable workhorse, the Prado's your old mate. Simple engine, proven gearbox, and that 150-litre fuel tank for those long-haul adventures. Plus, there's a shedload of aftermarket gear for the Prado.

So, which one's the winner? Well, that's up to you, sport. Are you a Toyota diehard or a Ford fanatic? The Prado might be the better 4x4 to own, but the Everest's got the drive. Tight lines, fellas!